Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
Features | Trade, Industry, Finance

Helping Singaporeans Share In Singapore’s Healthy Economy

As the central bank of Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) plays a big role in Singapore’s financial sector. MAS Scholar Jeremy Hor recounts how he came to contribute to this role.

Up until his first year of Junior College (JC), MAS Undergraduate Scholar Jeremy Hor was sure he would most likely pursue a career in IT, thanks to his passion for Computer Science. But the conversations of his JC classmates around him triggered a newfound interest in the financial sector. Jeremy explains, “My classmates who studied Economics were discussing topics like market structure and how the Singapore economy functions.

“I found myself very intrigued and curious to find out more. At the same time, I took up an introductory course which gave me fresh insights into and the importance of the financial industry! I was especially fascinated by the wide array of financial instruments and how these help investors achieve their investment objectives.”

Today, Jeremy is the Assistant Director of the Domestic Markets Management Department at MAS and he tells us how the MAS Undergraduate Scholarship journey has brought him to where he is today.

What motivated you to apply for the MAS Undergraduate Scholarship?

Jeremy Hor: While considering my post-JC path, I came across the MAS Undergraduate Scholarship through scholarship fairs and scholarship write-ups. This helped me gain a greater appreciation for MAS and its role in the financial sector. What really caught my attention was MAS’ broad perspectives coupled with its reputation for excellence.

Jeremy Hor Zhixiong
MAS Undergraduate Scholar

Designation: Assistant Director
(Domestic Markets Management)

Studied: Master of Science in Financial Economics,
University of Oxford, UK

Bachelor of Arts in Computer
Science, Management Studies,
University of Cambridge, UK

In addition to that, taking up the MAS Undergraduate Scholarship allowed me to pursue both my interests (Computer Science and Finance) and it presented me with a great opportunity to gain exposure to the various issues faced in the financial sector.

Share with us some highlights of your scholarship journey.

Jeremy: As part of the MAS scholarship journey, we have a mandatory 8-week MAS internship during our second year in university, where we embark on a project with a specific MAS department to gain valuable insights into the organisation.

I interned with the Specialist Risk Department, which supervises the financial risk that Financial Institutions are exposed to – market, liquidity and credit risks. My time there gave me a good glimpse into the world of banking regulation.

During my time with Cambridge, I also had the privilege of being part of the Cambridge University Malaysia and Singapore Association (CUMSA). Notable alumni include many of Singapore’s past and present leaders – including former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and former Foreign Minister George Yeo.

What are some of your key roles and responsibilities?

Jeremy: Together with my team, I am currently responsible for the issuance of Singapore Government Securities (SGS) on behalf of the Singapore Government. As an agent, we are accountable to the Ministry of Finance for the SGS issuance programme and advise the Government on the optimal issuance level of SGS bonds to develop the Singapore bond market. This year, we have been working to introduce the Singapore Savings Bond, which is a new type of government security for retail investors.

My department is also responsible for the key central banking functions of implementing monetary policy, maintaining the stability and functionality of foreign exchange (FX) and money markets in Singapore, as well as fostering the development of Singapore dollar markets.

We also have regular contact with banks to get 'market colour' (a heads-up on what is driving activity in the market) to ensure that the Singapore dollar markets are functioning well and that Singapore’s economy is not disrupted. What motivates me most about my job is the impact of what we do. The impact of FX and money markets affects a broad segment of society and I am honoured to play a part to keep Singapore’s economic engine running smoothly.

How has your scholarship journey developed you?

Jeremy: In addition to my internship, I’ve been exposed to countless opportunities that deepened my appreciation and understanding of the financial markets – more than a purely academic understanding ever could. While studying at Cambridge, I was part of the Cambridge Investment Club where I was further equipped with knowledge and skills in investment and portfolio management.

"The impact of FX and money markets affects a broad segment of society and I am honoured to play a part to keep Singapore’s economic engine running smoothly."

In Oxford, my classmates and I decided to get hands-on familiarity with the markets. We pooled our pocket money and came up with our own investment fund. This was a golden opportunity to apply and expand my skills and knowledge from the classroom into actual financial markets, giving me a first-hand experience of how certain investments behave and contributing to a strong foundation for my career at MAS today.

What advice would you give aspiring MAS Undergraduate Scholars?

Jeremy: Aspiring MAS scholars should be aware that the scholarship interview process is quite rigorous. It is critical to develop a broad range of interests, keep a close eye on financial sector conditions and issues and most importantly, not be afraid of sharing your original ideas – we need bold, well-considered policies to bring Singapore’s financial sector forward.

Do consider what you hope to achieve in the long term, beyond your immediate studies. If you are keen to play a part in shaping Singapore’s financial sector, then by all means apply for the MAS Undergraduate Scholarship!